Verey Books discovers the power of cold water at March event

Verey Books discovers the power of cold water at March event

On Wednesday 20 March, Al and the Verey Books team are delighted to welcome Lakeland author Sara Barnes for a Words on Wednesday conversation centred around how she harnessed the power of cold water immersion to unlock her creative and romantic spirit.  Her first two published books, The Cold Fix and The Winter of Our Lives are testament to that power.

In November 2022 her narrative non-fiction book The Cold Fix was published by Vertebrate Publishing and sold out within four months of publication. With its main audience the wild swimming and ice swimming community, it also crossed into the wellbeing and alternative therapies market.

It is Sara’s deeply intimate story of overcoming physical and emotional pain following major leg surgery. After describing her own experience, she travels out into the cold water swimming community and asks the question: What is it about the cold that you love? She divides her interviewees into five categories: the five personality types she knows exists within herself and assumes within others too. The Mother, the Warrior, the Panther, the Child and the Thinker – which one are you? Would you call on your Warrior to protect you?, or summon up your Panther when you’re feeling passionate? The Cold Fix is not a book about how to or where to go cold water swimming, but it is a touchy feely dive into the inner world of those who have made it a non-negotiable part of their lives.

The Winter of Our Lives, which was published by One More Chapter, the digital arm of HarperCollins in November 2023, is a mediative and uplifting novel set in the Lake District. The premise Sara invites us to consider is: ‘Take three menopausal wild swimmers who need to find a man. Not any old man, but one who is prepared to dip his bits in very cold water’. It is ostensibly a romantic novel, about falling back in love with yourself and life as you grow older. ‘My editor likened it in places to Wintering by Katherine May, and I also wanted to inject elements of humour and spice into it because, even as we grow older, we need both those things in our lives’, says Sara.

Aimed squarely at both men and women, it doesn’t hold back on describing what it feels like to be struggling with symptoms of the menopause, or to feel the weight of guilt when you should be feeling grief. Set against the stunning landscape of North West Lakeland, The Winter of Our Lives is a gritty, relatable love story for people who don’t want to give up on romance, passion or life as they grow older.

Sara will read from both books and welcome questions and comments from the audience. On her Instagram account @bumblebarnes she inspires people to be their own change, to face real life head on and find a passion that comforts you when things get too much. For her that is daily cold water immersion and writing.

Owner Al commented:

“I’m greatly looking forward to learning in greater detail about the wide-ranging benefits of cold water. Sara’s books are fascinating and this will be a wonderful opportunity to hear from the author in person and a ‘must’ for newbies and seasoned cold water enthusiasts alike.”

Tickets for each event cost £10 and include a welcome drink. To book, visit Verey Books is located in Pooley Bridge on the shores of Ullswater. The book shop is open daily seven days a week from 10am – 5pm. Walking boots, bikes and book-curious children and dogs welcome. For further information, to book for these events or to buy gift vouchers or book subscriptions, visit


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